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Terms and conditions - effective from 1 September 2023

Updated: July 2023

These terms and conditions form the basis of the contract between Hertfordshire Music Service and customers. Customers (hereafter referred to as ‘you’) are subject to, and agree, to being bound by these terms and conditions when participating in the instrument hire scheme.

All Instruments remain the property of Hertford Music Service, Hertfordshire County Council and/or Hertfordshire Music Hub throughout the duration of the hire agreement.

Any determination made by the Chief Executive Officer arising from the terms and conditions shall be final. Hertfordshire Music Service reserves the right to vary these terms and conditions at any time and without prior notice. 

Meanings and definitions


The musical instrument provided as part of this agreement.


Any additional items provided with the instrument which relate to its use (excluding consumables).


Any additional items provided with the instrument, relating to its use, which need frequent replacement, for example, but not limited to reeds, strings, plectrums.


“You”; the person, company, or other organisation hiring the instrument and provided accessories and/or consumables.


“We”; Hertfordshire Music Service

Hire Period

The period commencing when the hirer collects the instrument, accessories, and consumables on hire (including Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays) and ending upon:

  • the return of the Instrument, accessories, and consumables by the Hirer to HMS’ possession.

  • the repossession, or collection, of the instrument, accessories, and consumables  by HMS.

Third Party

Not HMS / Hirer or intended user, for example but not limited to the child’s schoolteacher or an instrument repair shop.

Wear and Tear

Any minor and/or superficial damage which does not impact the functionality of the instrument, accessories, or consumables. Including, but not limited to light scratching/scuffing.

Force Majeure

Any event outside HMS or the Hirer’s reasonable control including, but not limited to, acts of God, war, flood, fire, riots, malicious damage, explosion, terrorism, and any other similar events.

1. Availability

1.1. All instruments, instrument models, accessories, and consumables provided through the Access to Instruments hire scheme are subject to availability.

1.2. HMS cannot guarantee the hire of any specific model of instrument. Wait times for fulfilment may vary due to demand or stock availability.

2. Refusal

2.1. HMS reserves the right to refuse the hire of instruments, accessories, and consumables as a result of:

(i) Outstanding debt for any HMS service, including but not limited to non-payment for fees and/or repair/replacement costs for instruments previously provided through this hire scheme.

(ii) Multiple occasions of damage, loss, or theft of instruments, accessories and/or consumables previously provided by HMS.

(iii) Any behaviour toward a member of HMS staff that is considered unacceptable, including but not limited to verbal and/or written abuse, aggression, swearing, violent behaviour.

3. Fees

3.1. Access to Instrument hire charges are payable per academic term. For any hire starting part-way through an academic term, the full termly charge will still be payable.

3.2. HMS reserves the right to adjust hire fees with a minimum of one term’s notice.

3.3. You will be responsible for any costs incurred in the event of defaulting payments and/or non-compliance with this agreement.

4. Hire Period

4.1. A 14-day cooling off period begins at the start of your hire period. The start of your hire period coincides with your collection date. You will be notified of your collection date and location via email once stock availability has been confirmed.

4.2. You are not permitted to lease, sell, or loan the instrument to any Third Party throughout the duration of the hire period.

4.3. Information on the instrument, accessories, and consumables relevant to your hire instrument will be provided at the point of hire.

5. Insurance

5.1. We strongly recommend insuring the instrument, and included accessories, to cover potential damage, loss, or theft during the hire period.

6. Damage, Loss, and Theft

6.1. HMS should be notified of any damage, loss, or theft to any instrument or accessories as soon as practicably possible, and no longer than 14 days, by contacting the HMS Instrument team via HMS reserves the right to request a statement of cause from the hirer in the event of any damage, loss, or theft occurring throughout the duration of the hire period.

6.2. Should you choose not to insure your instrument, or for any damage, theft, or loss not covered by your chosen insurance policy, you will be responsible for the entire cost of replacement of the instrument, accessories, and consumables for the duration of the hire period. This includes any damage, loss, or theft as a result of use by a third party, or in the event of Force Majeure. 

7. Repairs

7.1. Any instrument or accessory repair should only be undertaken by, or with the expressed permission of HMS.

8. End of Hire

8.1. You may end your hire period at any point by providing HMS with written notice by email via Where the hirer does not have the facility to contact HMS via email, we will accept written notice from the hirer delivered to the following address:

                HMS Instrument Team
                Mid Herts Centre for Music & Arts
                Birchwood Avenue
                AL10 0PS  

8.2. HMS reserves the right to end your hire agreement at any point, and with no less than 14-days’ notice.

8.3. Following written notice by the hirer or by HMS, it is the responsibility of the hirer to make suitable arrangements with HMS for the return of the instrument, accessories, and consumables.

8.4. An assessment of the condition of the instrument, accessories, and consumables will be completed by HMS upon return. Any instrument and/or accessories found to be missing or damaged at the point of return will be subject to ‘6.Damage, Loss, and Theft’.

8.5. Any determination of condition by HMS at point of return is final.

8.6. Any fees paid prior to the end of your hire period will be non-refundable, except where your return falls within the 14-day cooling-off period. Any outstanding fees owed at the end of your hire period will still be payable.

9. Consumables

9.1. Once a consumable shows sign of use and is no longer in appropriate condition for the next hirer, it is considered used and must be replaced before returning the instrument. If an instrument is returned with missing consumables, or consumables which are no longer in appropriate condition for the next hirer, a one-off charge of £15.00 will be payable to cover the cost of any replacement.

9.2. Any determination of use by HMS is final.

10. Keep HMS Informed

10.1. You must inform HMS of any changes to your contact details including home address, contact telephone number and/or email address as soon as practically possible. All contact information can be updated via SpeedAdmin for all HMS customers. To inform us of any problems related to your hire, please contact the HMS Instrument team via